ResearchPad - sexual-reproduction https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Differential migration in Chesapeake Bay striped bass]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14625 Differential migration—increased migration propensity with increasing individual size—is common in migratory species. Like other forms of partial migration, it provides spatial buffering against regional differences in habitat quality and sources of mortality. We investigated differential migration and its consequences to survival and reproductive patterns in striped bass, a species with well-known plasticity in migration behaviors. A size-stratified sample of Potomac River (Chesapeake Bay) Morone saxatilis striped bass was implanted with acoustic transmitters and their subsequent coastal shelf migrations recorded over a 4-yr period by telemetry receivers throughout the Mid-Atlantic Bight and Southern New England. A generalized linear mixed model predicted that ≥ 50% of both males and females depart the Chesapeake Bay at large sizes >80 cm total length. Egressing striped bass exited through both the Chesapeake Bay mouth and Delaware Bay (via the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal), favoring the former. All large fish migrated to Massachusetts shelf waters and in subsequent years repeatedly returned to regions within Massachusetts and Cape Cod Bays. Within this dominant behavior, minority behaviors included straying, skipped spawning, and residency by large individuals (those expected to migrate). Analysis of the last day of transmission indicated that small resident striped bass experienced nearly 2-fold higher loss rates (70% yr-1) than coastal shelf emigrants (37% yr-1). The study confirmed expectations for a threshold size at emigration and different mortality levels between Chesapeake Bay (resident) and ocean (migratory) population contingents; and supported the central premise of the current assessment and management framework of a two-contingent population: smaller Chesapeake Bay residents and a larger ocean contingent. An improved understanding of differential migration thus affords an opportunity to specify stock assessments according to different population sub-components, and tailor reference points and control rules between regions and fishing stakeholder groups.

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<![CDATA[Reproductive life-history strategies in a species-rich assemblage of Amazonian electric fishes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N810c6abb-a507-4d5b-89ae-f4ccddeb69e1

The reproductive biology of only a small fraction of Neotropical freshwater fishes has been described, and detailed comparative studies of reproductive life-history variation in the Neotropical ichthyofauna are lacking. Here we describe interspecific variation in reproductive life history for a multi-species assemblage of the electric knifefish genus Brachyhypopomus (Hypopomidae: Gymnotiformes: Ostariophysi) from Amazonian floodplain and terra firme stream systems. During a year-round quantitative sampling program, we collected and measured key life-history traits from 3,410 individuals. Based on oocyte size distributions, and on circannual variation in gonadosomatic indices, hepatosomatic indices, and capture-per-unit-effort abundance of reproductive adults, we concluded that all species exhibit a single protracted annual breeding season during which females spawn fractionally. We found small clusters of post-larval individuals in one floodplain species and one terra firme stream species, but no signs of parental care. From analyses of body size-frequency distributions and otolith growth increments, we concluded that five species in our study area have approximately one-year (annual) semelparous life history with a single reproductive period followed by death, while two species have a two-year iteroparous life history, with breeding in both year-groups. Despite predictions from life-history theory we found no salient correlations between life history strategy (semelparity or iteroparity) and habitat occupancy (floodplain or terra firme stream). In the iteroparous species B. beebei, we documented evidence for reproductive restraint in the first breeding season relative to the second breeding season and argue that this is consistent with age-regulated terminal investment.

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<![CDATA[Population density and temperature correlate with long-term trends in somatic growth rates and maturation schedules of herring and sprat]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c89775ed5eed0c4847d2b47

We examine long-term trends in the average growth rates and maturation schedules of herring and sprat populations using survey data collected from the North Sea and west of Scotland since the 1960s and 1980s respectively. Otolith age data and maturity data are used to calculate time series of mean lengths at age, von Bertalanffy growth parameters, and probabilistic maturation reaction norms. As the growth and maturation of fish is known to be influenced by temperature and stock abundances, we account for these variables using Generalised Additive Models. Each of the herring populations displayed either steady declines in mean length across multiple age groups, or declines in length followed years later by some recovery. Depending on region, lengths at age of sprat increased or decreased over time. Varying temporal trends in maturation propensity at age and length were observed across herring populations. Many of the trends in growth rate and maturation were correlated to population abundance and/or temperature. In general, abundance is shown to be negatively correlated to growth rates in herring and sprat, and positively correlated with maturation propensity in herring. Temperature is also shown to be correlated to growth and maturation, and although the effect is consistent within species, the temperature effects differ between herring and sprat. This study provides detailed information about long-term trends in growth and maturation, which is lacking for some of these pelagic stocks, especially in the west of Scotland.

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<![CDATA[Breeding behavior in the blind Mexican cavefish and its river-dwelling conspecific]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c76fe22d5eed0c484e5b593

Fish reproductive patterns are very diverse in terms of breeding frequency, mating system, sexual dimorphisms and selection, mate choice, spawning site choice, courtship patterns, spawning behaviors and parental care. Here we have compared the breeding behavior of the surface-dwelling and cave-dwelling morphs of the characiform A. mexicanus, with the goals of documenting the spawning behavior in this emerging model organism, its possible evolution after cave colonization, and the sensory modalities involved. Using infrared video recordings, we showed that cave and surface Astyanax spawning behavior is identical, occurs in the dark, and can be divided into 5 rapid phases repeated many times, about once per minute, during spawning sessions which last about one hour and involve one female and several males. Such features may constitute “pre-adaptive traits” which have facilitated fish survival after cave colonization, and may also explain how the two morphs can hybridize in the wild and in the laboratory. Accordingly, cross-breeding experiments involving females of one morphotype and males of the other morphotype showed the same behavior including the same five phases. However, breeding between cavefish females and surface fish males was more frequent than the reverse. Finally, cavefish female pheromonal solution was able to trigger strong behavioral responses in cavefish males–but not on surface fish males. Lastly, egg production seemed higher in surface fish females than in cavefish females. These results are discussed with regards to the sensory modalities involved in triggering reproductive behavior in the two morphs, as well as its possible ongoing evolution.

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<![CDATA[High spatio-temporal variability in Acroporidae settlement to inshore reefs of the Great Barrier Reef]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b52e4d5eed0c4842bd212

Recovery of coral reefs after disturbance relies heavily on replenishment through successful larval settlement and their subsequent survival. As part of an integrated study to determine the potential effects of water quality changes on the resilience of inshore coral communities, scleractinian coral settlement was monitored between 2006 and 2012 at 12 reefs within the inshore Great Barrier Reef. Settlement patterns were only analysed for the family Acroporidae, which represented the majority (84%) of settled larvae. Settlement of Acroporidae to terracotta tiles averaged 0.11 cm-2, representing 34 ± 31.01 (mean ± SD) spat per tile, indicating an abundant supply of competent larvae to the study reefs. Settlement was highly variable among reefs and between years. Differences in settlement among locations partly corresponded to the local cover of adult Acroporidae, while substantial reductions in Acroporidae cover caused by tropical cyclones and floods resulted in a clear reduction in settlement. Much of the observed variability remained unexplained, although likely included variability in both connectivity to, and the fecundity of, adult Acroporidae. The responsiveness of settlement patterns to the decline in Acroporidae cover across all four regions indicates the importance of supply and connectivity, and the vulnerability towards region-wide disturbance. High spatial and temporal variability, in addition to the resource-intensive nature of sampling with settlement tiles, highlights the logistical difficulty of determining coral settlement over large spatial and temporal scales.

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<![CDATA[Role of freshwater floodplain-tidal slough complex in the persistence of the endangered delta smelt]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3667e8d5eed0c4841a68a4

Seasonal floodplain wetland is one of the most variable and diverse habitats found in coastal ecosystems, yet it is also one of the most highly altered by humans. The Yolo Bypass, the primary floodplain of the Sacramento River in California’s Central Valley, USA, has been shown to provide various benefits to native fishes when inundated. However, the Yolo Bypass exists as a tidal dead-end slough during dry periods and its value to native fishes has been less studied in this state. During the recent drought (2012–2016), we found higher abundance of the endangered Delta Smelt (Hypomesus transpacificus), than the previous 14 years of fish monitoring within the Yolo Bypass. Meanwhile, Delta Smelt abundance elsewhere in the estuary was at record lows during this time. To determine the value of the Yolo Bypass as a nursery habitat for Delta Smelt, we compared growth, hatch dates, and diets of juvenile Delta Smelt collected within the Yolo Bypass with fish collected among other putative nursery habitats in the San Francisco Estuary between 2010 and 2016. Our results indicated that when compared to other areas of the estuary, fish in the Yolo Bypass spawned earlier, and offspring experienced both higher quality feeding conditions and growth rates. The occurrence of healthy juvenile Delta Smelt in the Yolo Bypass suggested that the region may have acted as a refuge for the species during the drought years of 2012–2016. However, our results also demonstrated that no single region provided the best rearing habitat for juvenile Delta Smelt. It will likely require a mosaic of habitats that incorporates floodplain-tidal sloughs in order to promote the resilience of this declining estuarine fish species.

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<![CDATA[Effect of larval swimming in the western North Pacific subtropical gyre on the recruitment success of the Japanese eel]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c25451cd5eed0c48442bed3

The possible effect of directional larval swimming on the recruitment success of the Japanese eel, Anguilla japonica, was examined with a three-dimensional particle-tracking ocean circulation model using horizontal northwestward swimming and diel vertical migration (DVM). Four separate experiments included virtual larvae (v-larvae) movement from the spawning area over 290 days (total migration) and 160 days (stage A), from the STCC eddy region in 70 days (stage B), and from the origin of the Kuroshio in 60 days (stage C) to evaluate the effect of directional swimming and DVM compared to simple drifting. Passive or random swimming were not the most effective strategies for larvae dispersing from the spawning area because most v-larvae remained south of 20°N without entering the Kuroshio. Northwestward swimming resulted in wider dispersion and a better chance of successful recruitment, with v-larvae becoming widely distributed in the STCC eddy zone, arriving at the east coast of the Philippines (stage A), escaping the STCC eddy area and reaching the Kuroshio (stage B), and crossing the Kuroshio into the East China Sea shelf (stage C). DVM slightly shortened the migration period due to faster shallow layer ocean currents during nighttime. The NEC transported non-swimming v-larvae westward to the Kuroshio and occasionally northward into the Subtropical Countercurrent (STCC) area where eddies transported v-larvae westward into the Kuroshio, but less than with swimming. Directional swimming increased recruitment success, northwestward swimming was more effective than other directions, and a slower swimming speed was still better than no/random swimming in sensitivity tests. The present study demonstrated a first view of the possibility that Japanese eel larvae might be able to use a strategy of single-direction swimming to increase arrival at their recruitment areas.

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<![CDATA[Assessing impact of exogenous features on biotic phenomena in the presence of strong spatial dependence: A lake sturgeon case study in natural stream settings]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c117b3dd5eed0c4846985fd

Modeling spatially explicit data provides a powerful approach to identify the effects of exogenous features associated with biological processes, including recruitment of stream fishes. However, the complex spatial and temporal dynamics of the stream and the species’ reproductive and early life stage behaviors present challenges to drawing valid inference using traditional regression models. In these settings it is often difficult to ensure the spatial independence among model residuals—a key assumption that must be met to ensure valid inference. We present statistical models capable of capturing complex residual anisotropic patterns through the addition of spatial random effects within an inferential framework that acknowledges uncertainty in the data and parameters. Proposed models are used to explore the impact of environmental variables on Lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) reproduction, particularly questions about patterns in egg deposition. Our results demonstrate the need to apply valid statistical methods to identify relationships between response variables, e.g., egg counts, across locations, and environmental covariates in the presence of strong and anisotropic autocorrelation in stream systems. The models may be applied to other settings where gamete distribution or, more generally, other biotic phenomena may be associated with spatially dynamic and anisotropic processes.

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<![CDATA[Intense Sperm-Mediated Sexual Conflict Promotes Reproductive Isolation in Caenorhabditis Nematodes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daa0ab0ee8fa60ba5a3a

Sperm from other species invade female tissues to cause sterility and death, helping to keep nematode species boundaries intact.

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<![CDATA[A Complex Set of Sex Pheromones Identified in the Cuttlefish Sepia officinalis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9e2ab0ee8fa60b6a23c

Background

The cephalopod mollusk Sepia officinalis can be considered as a relevant model for studying reproduction strategies associated to seasonal migrations. Using transcriptomic and peptidomic approaches, we aim to identify peptide sex pheromones that are thought to induce the aggregation of mature cuttlefish in their egg-laying areas.

Results

To facilitate the identification of sex pheromones, 576 5′-expressed sequence tags (ESTs) were sequenced from a single cDNA library generated from accessory sex glands of female cuttlefish. Our analysis yielded 223 unique sequences composed of 186 singletons and 37 contigs. Three major redundant ESTs called SPα, SPα′ and SPβ were identified as good candidates for putative sex pheromone transcripts and are part of the 87 unique sequences classified as unknown. The alignment of translated SPα and SPα′ revealed a high level of conservation, with 98.4% identity. Translation led to a 248-amino acid precursor containing six peptides with multiple putative disulfide bonds. The alignment of SPα-α′ with SPβ revealed a partial structural conservation, with 37.3% identity. Translation of SPβ led to a 252-amino acid precursor containing five peptides. The occurrence of a signal peptide on SPα, SPα′ and SPβ showed that the peptides were secreted. RT-PCR and mass spectrometry analyses revealed a co-localization of transcripts and expression products in the oviduct gland. Preliminary in vitro experiments performed on gills and penises revealed target organs involved in mating and ventilation.

Conclusions

The analysis of the accessory sex gland transcriptome of Sepia officinalis led to the identification of peptidic sex pheromones. Although preliminary functional tests suggested the involvement of the α3 and β2 peptides in ventilation and mating stimulation, further functional investigations will make it possible to identify the complete set of biological activities expected from waterborne pheromones.

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<![CDATA[Regional Difference in Sex Steroid Action on Formation of Morphological Sex Differences in the Anteroventral Periventricular Nucleus and Principal Nucleus of the Bed Nucleus of the Stria Terminalis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da10ab0ee8fa60b79453

Sex steroid action is critical to form sexually dimorphic nuclei, although it is not fully understood. We previously reported that masculinization of the principal nucleus of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNSTp), which is larger and has more neurons in males than in females, involves aromatized testosterone that acts via estrogen receptor-α (ERα), but not estrogen receptor-β (ERβ). Here, we examined sex steroid action on the formation of the anteroventral periventricular nucleus (AVPV) that is larger and has more neurons in females. Morphometrical analysis of transgenic mice lacking aromatase, ERα, or ERβ genes revealed that the volume and neuron number of the male AVPV were significantly increased by deletion of aromatase and ERα genes, but not the ERβ gene. We further examined the AVPV and BNSTp of androgen receptor knockout (ARKO) mice. The volume and neuron number of the male BNSTp were smaller in ARKO mice than those in wild-type mice, while no significant effect of ARKO was found on the AVPV and female BNSTp. We also examined aromatase, ERα, and AR mRNA levels in the AVPV and BNSTp of wild-type and ARKO mice on embryonic day (ED) 18 and postnatal day (PD) 4. AR mRNA in the BNSTp and AVPV of wild-type mice was not expressed on ED18 and emerged on PD4. In the AVPV, the aromatase mRNA level was higher on ED18, although the ERα mRNA level was higher on PD4 without any effect of AR gene deletion. Aromatase and ERα mRNA levels in the male BNSTp were significantly increased on PD4 by AR gene deletion. These results suggest that estradiol signaling via ERα during the perinatal period and testosterone signaling via AR during the postnatal period are required for masculinization of the BNSTp, whereas the former is sufficient to defeminize the AVPV.

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<![CDATA[Dietary Deficiency of Essential Amino Acids Rapidly Induces Cessation of the Rat Estrous Cycle]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da2fab0ee8fa60b83d94

Reproductive functions are regulated by the sophisticated coordination between the neuronal and endocrine systems and are sustained by a proper nutritional environment. Female reproductive function is vulnerable to effects from dietary restrictions, suggesting a transient adaptation that prioritizes individual survival over reproduction until a possible future opportunity for satiation. This adaptation could also partially explain the existence of amenorrhea in women with anorexia nervosa. Because amino acid nutritional conditions other than caloric restriction uniquely alters amino acid metabolism and affect the hormonal levels of organisms, we hypothesized that the supply of essential amino acids in the diet plays a pivotal role in the maintenance of the female reproductive system. To test this hypothesis, we examined ovulatory cyclicity in female rats under diets that were deficient in threonine, lysine, tryptophan, methionine or valine. Ovulatory cyclicity was monitored by daily cytological evaluations of vaginal smears. After continuous feeding of the deficient diet, a persistent diestrus or anovulatory state was induced most quickly by the valine-deficient diet and most slowly by the lysine-deficient diet. A decline in the systemic insulin-like growth factor 1 level was associated with a dietary amino acid deficiency. Furthermore, a paired group of rats that were fed an isocaloric diet with balanced amino acids maintained normal estrous cyclicity. These disturbances of the estrous cycle by amino acid deficiency were quickly reversed by the consumption of a normal diet. The continuous anovulatory state in this study is not attributable to a decrease in caloric intake but to an imbalance in the dietary amino acid composition. With a shortage of well-balanced amino acid sources, reproduction becomes risky for both the mother and the fetus. It could be viewed as an adaptation to the diet, diverting resources away from reproduction and reallocating them to survival until well-balanced amino acid sources are found.

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<![CDATA[Epistasis among Drosophila persimilis Factors Conferring Hybrid Male Sterility with D. pseudoobscura bogotana]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db1fab0ee8fa60bcee77

The Bateson-Dobzhansky-Muller model posits that hybrid incompatibilities result from genetic changes that accumulate during population divergence. Indeed, much effort in recent years has been devoted to identifying genes associated with hybrid incompatibilities, often with limited success, suggesting that hybrid sterility and inviability are frequently caused by complex interactions between multiple loci and not by single or a small number of gene pairs. Our previous study showed that the nature of epistasis between sterility-conferring QTL in the Drosophila persimilis-D. pseudoobscura bogotana species pair is highly specific. Here, we further dissect one of the three QTL underlying hybrid male sterility between these species and provide evidence for multiple factors within this QTL. This result indicates that the number of loci thought to contribute to hybrid dysfunction may have been underestimated, and we discuss how linkage and complex epistasis may be characteristic of the genetics of hybrid incompatibilities. We further pinpoint the location of one locus that confers hybrid male sterility when homozygous, dubbed “mule-like”, to roughly 250 kilobases.

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<![CDATA[Expansion of Genes Encoding piRNA-Associated Argonaute Proteins in the Pea Aphid: Diversification of Expression Profiles in Different Plastic Morphs]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da1cab0ee8fa60b7d5e3

Piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) are known to regulate transposon activity in germ cells of several animal models that propagate sexually. However, the role of piRNAs during asexual reproduction remains almost unknown. Aphids that can alternate sexual and asexual reproduction cycles in response to seasonal changes of photoperiod provide a unique opportunity to study piRNAs and the piRNA pathway in both reproductive modes. Taking advantage of the recently sequenced genome of the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum, we found an unusually large lineage-specific expansion of genes encoding the Piwi sub-clade of Argonaute proteins. In situ hybridisation showed differential expressions between the duplicated piwi copies: while Api-piwi2 and Api-piwi6 are “specialised” in germ cells their most closely related copy, respectively Api-piwi5 and Api-piwi3, are expressed in the somatic cells. The differential expression was also identified in duplicated ago3: Api-ago3a in germ cells and Api-ago3b in somatic cells. Moreover, analyses of expression profiles of the expanded piwi and ago3 genes by semi-quantitative RT-PCR showed that expressions varied according to the reproductive types. These specific expression patterns suggest that expanded aphid piwi and ago3 genes have distinct roles in asexual and sexual reproduction.

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<![CDATA[Paced-Mating Increases the Number of Adult New Born Cells in the Internal Cellular (Granular) Layer of the Accessory Olfactory Bulb]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da3fab0ee8fa60b8958d

The continuous production and addition of new neurons during life in the olfactory bulb is well accepted and has been extensively studied in rodents. This process could allow the animals to adapt to a changing environment. Olfactory neurogenesis begins in the subventricular zone where stem cells proliferate and give rise to young undifferentiated neuroblasts that migrate along the rostral migratory stream to the olfactory bulb (OB). Olfaction is crucial for the expression of sexual behavior in rodents. In female rats, the ability to control the rate of sexual interactions (pacing) has important physiological and behavioral consequences. In the present experiment we evaluated if pacing behavior modifies the rate of new cells that reach the main and accessory olfactory bulb. The BrdU marker was injected before and after different behavioral tests which included: females placed in a mating cage (control), females allowed to pace the sexual interaction, females that mated but were not able to control the rate of the sexual interaction and females exposed to a sexually active male. Subjects were sacrificed fifteen days after the behavioral test. We observed a significant increase in the density of BrdU positive cells in the internal cellular layer of the accessory olfactory bulb when females paced the sexual interaction in comparison to the other 3 groups. No differences in the cell density in the main olfactory bulb were found. These results suggest that pacing behavior promotes an increase in density of the new cells in the accessory olfactory bulb.

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<![CDATA[Effects of Maternal Basking and Food Quantity during Gestation Provide Evidence for the Selective Advantage of Matrotrophy in a Viviparous Lizard]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daf2ab0ee8fa60bc1759

The evolution of matrotrophy (i.e., direct supply of nutrients by the mother during gestation) may be associated with high maternal energy availability during gestation. However, we lack knowledge about the selective advantages of matrotrophic viviparity (live-bearing) in reptiles. In reptiles, the interaction between body temperature and food intake affect maternal net energy gain. In the present study, we examined the effects of basking and food availability (2 by 2 factorial design) during gestation on offspring phenotype in a matrotrophic viviparous lizard (Pseudemoia entrecasteauxii). Subsequently, we investigated if the maternal effects were context-dependent using offspring growth rate as an indicator of the adaptive significance of matrotrophy. Offspring were exposed either to the same thermal conditions as their mothers experienced or to thermal conditions different from those experienced by their mothers. We provide the first evidence that an interaction between maternal thermal and maternal food conditions during gestation strongly affects offspring phenotype, including date of birth, body size and performance ability, which affect offspring fitness. Offspring growth rate was dependent on offspring thermal conditions, but was not influenced by maternal effects or offspring sex. Matrotrophic viviparity provided gravid females with the means to enhance offspring fitness through greater energetic input to offspring when conditions allowed it (i.e., extended basking opportunity with high food availability). Therefore, we suggest that selective advantages of matrotrophic viviparity in P. entrecasteauxii may be associated with high maternal energy availability during gestation.

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<![CDATA[Apomixis frequency under stress conditions in weeping lovegrass (Eragrostis curvula)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db53ab0ee8fa60bdc9d8

To overcome environmental stress, plants develop physiological responses that are triggered by genetic or epigenetic changes, some of which involve DNA methylation. It has been proposed that apomixis, the formation of asexual seeds without meiosis, occurs through the temporal or spatial deregulation of the sexual process mediated by genetic and epigenetic factors influenced by the environment. Here, we explored whether there was a link between the occurrence of apomixis and various factors that generate stress, including drought stress, in vitro culture, and intraspecific hybridization. For this purpose, we monitored the embryo sacs of different weeping lovegrass (Eragrostis curvula [Schrad.] Nees) genotypes after the plants were subjected to these stress conditions. Progeny tests based on molecular markers and genome methylation status were analyzed following the stress treatment. When grown in the greenhouse, the cultivar Tanganyika INTA generated less than 2% of its progeny by sexual reproduction. Plants of this cultivar subjected to different stresses showed an increase of sexual embryo sacs, demonstrating an increased expression of sexuality compared to control plants. Plants of the cv. Tanganyika USDA did not demonstrate the ability to generate sexual embryo sacs under any conditions and is therefore classified as a fully apomictic cultivar. We found that this change in the prevalence of sexuality was correlated with genetic and epigenetic changes analyzed by MSAP and AFLPs profiles. Our results demonstrate that different stress conditions can alter the expression of sexual reproduction in facultative tetraploid apomictic cultivars and when the stress stops the reproductive mode shift back to the apomixis original level. These data together with previous observations allow us to generate a hypothetical model of the regulation of apomixis in weeping lovegrass in which the genetic/s region/s that condition apomixis, is/are affected by ploidy, and is/are subjected to epigenetic control.

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<![CDATA[RAN-Binding Protein 9 is Involved in Alternative Splicing and is Critical for Male Germ Cell Development and Male Fertility]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da36ab0ee8fa60b86514

As a member of the large Ran-binding protein family, Ran-binding protein 9 (RANBP9) has been suggested to play a critical role in diverse cellular functions in somatic cell lineages in vitro, and this is further supported by the neonatal lethality phenotype in Ranbp9 global knockout mice. However, the exact molecular actions of RANBP9 remain largely unknown. By inactivation of Ranbp9 specifically in testicular somatic and spermatogenic cells, we discovered that Ranbp9 was dispensable for Sertoli cell development and functions, but critical for male germ cell development and male fertility. RIP-Seq and proteomic analyses revealed that RANBP9 was associated with multiple key splicing factors and directly targeted >2,300 mRNAs in spermatocytes and round spermatids. Many of the RANBP9 target and non-target mRNAs either displayed aberrant splicing patterns or were dysregulated in the absence of Ranbp9. Our data uncovered a novel role of Ranbp9 in regulating alternative splicing in spermatogenic cells, which is critical for normal spermatogenesis and male fertility.

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<![CDATA[Timing and locations of reef fish spawning off the southeastern United States]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdbd75

Managed reef fish in the Atlantic Ocean of the southeastern United States (SEUS) support a multi-billion dollar industry. There is a broad interest in locating and protecting spawning fish from harvest, to enhance productivity and reduce the potential for overfishing. We assessed spatiotemporal cues for spawning for six species from four reef fish families, using data on individual spawning condition collected by over three decades of regional fishery-independent reef fish surveys, combined with a series of predictors derived from bathymetric features. We quantified the size of spawning areas used by reef fish across many years and identified several multispecies spawning locations. We quantitatively identified cues for peak spawning and generated predictive maps for Gray Triggerfish (Balistes capriscus), White Grunt (Haemulon plumierii), Red Snapper (Lutjanus campechanus), Vermilion Snapper (Rhomboplites aurorubens), Black Sea Bass (Centropristis striata), and Scamp (Mycteroperca phenax). For example, Red Snapper peak spawning was predicted in 24.7–29.0°C water prior to the new moon at locations with high curvature in the 24–30 m depth range off northeast Florida during June and July. External validation using scientific and fishery-dependent data collections strongly supported the predictive utility of our models. We identified locations where reconfiguration or expansion of existing marine protected areas would protect spawning reef fish. We recommend increased sampling off southern Florida (south of 27° N), during winter months, and in high-relief, high current habitats to improve our understanding of timing and location of reef fish spawning off the southeastern United States.

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<![CDATA[Low Testosterone Correlates with Delayed Development in Male Orangutans]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da03ab0ee8fa60b74cd0

Male orangutans (Pongo spp.) display an unusual characteristic for mammals in that some adult males advance quickly to full secondary sexual development while others can remain in an adolescent-like form for a decade or more past the age of sexual maturity. Remarkably little is understood about how and why differences in developmental timing occur. While fully-developed males are known to produce higher androgen levels than arrested males, the longer-term role of steroid hormones in male life history variation has not been examined. We examined variation in testosterone and cortisol production among 18 fully-developed (“flanged”) male orangutans in U.S. captive facilities. Our study revealed that while testosterone levels did not vary significantly according to current age, housing condition, and species origin, males that had undergone precocious development had higher testosterone levels than males that had experienced developmental arrest. While androgen variation had previously been viewed as a state-dependent characteristic of male developmental status, our study reveals that differences in the physiology of early and late developing males are detectable long past the developmental transition and may instead be trait-level characteristics associated with a male’s life history strategy. Further studies are needed to determine how early in life differences in testosterone levels emerge and what consequences this variation may have for male behavioral strategies.

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